Central Valley (California)

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The Central Valley (also known as The Valley) is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California. It is home to many of California's most productive agricultural efforts. The valley stretches approximately 450 miles (720 km) from northwest to southeast inland and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast. Its northern half is referred to as the Sacramento Valley, and its southern half as the San Joaquin Valley. The Sacramento valley receives about 20 inches of rain annually, but the San Joaquin is very dry, often semi-arid desert in many places. The two halves meet at the huge Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, a large expanse of interconnected canals, streambeds, sloughs, marshes and peat islands. The Central Valley covers an area of approximately 22,500 square miles (58,000 km2), making it slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia.

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Boundaries and population

The Central Valley is 40 to 60 miles (60 to 100 km) wide,[1] and nearly 450 miles (720 km) long,[1] and is bounded by the Cascade Range, Trinity Alps and Klamath Mountains to the north, the Sierra Nevada to the east and the Coast Ranges and San Francisco Bay to the west, as far south as the Tehachapi Mountains. The valley is a vast agricultural region drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Counties commonly associated with the valley:[2]

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